BOZEMAN, Mont. - A Montana judge has ordered the release of a mugshot taken of the state's lone congressman after he was convicted of assaulting a reporter on the eve of the special election that put him in office.
Gallatin County District Judge Holly Brown ruled Wednesday that the booking shot of Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte should be made public.
County Attorney Marty Lambert would not release the image without a court order, arguing it is confidential criminal justice information. Several media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed motions asking that the booking shot be released.
Neither Gianforte nor Lambert opposed the release of the photo.
Gianforte pleaded guilty to assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on May 24 as Jacobs sought to question him about health care legislation. Jacobs said Gianforte "body slammed" him.
The press secretary for Rep. Gianforte offered the following statement:
"As an elected official, Greg is committed to transparency. Greg would have provided the materials on his own in August if the law allowed it. Instead, Greg volunteered the release of the information and has worked to ensure it is available to the public. Since being elected in May, Greg remains focused on serving as a strong voice for Montana in Washington." - Travis Hall, spokesman for Congressman Greg Gianforte